Insights & Ideas

Benchmarking - The Competitive Advantage

I’ve always been a keen believer that the success of any business is down to the knowledge that it has – not only in terms of introspectively around internal processes and data, but also in the context of the wider world, and how a business is performing against its competitors.

Benchmarking is a necessity for every business that wants to be at the forefront of its industry, which makes it surprising that it isn’t more prevalent throughout business.

With the adage that knowledge is power, surely having knowledge about your competitors is what will give you the most power? And with the sheer volume of data available, businesses can gain a better view of their standings in the marketplace than ever before, and, most importantly, make the moves necessary to put them ahead of their competition.

Business should think about benchmarking in terms of a few key questions:

  • What are your weak spots?
  • How are your competitors performing against you in key segments? What do they do better?
  • And, most importantly, HOW are they doing it?

It’s something that’s standard in sport today – competitors and coaches view hours of footage to study their opponents to arm them with insight ahead of battle, and the information can mean the difference between winning and losing by a minute margin.

Businesses have to do the same.

By collecting information on your competitors, and knowing where you fit in the competitive landscape, businesses will be arming themselves with the tools to develop robust and innovative strategies for growth. According to McKinsey, those businesses that are able to successfully use data can achieve hundreds of billions in increased profits.

This isn’t something that businesses necessarily have to spend hours toiling over to compare – there is now highly sophisticated software which allows this to happen almost instantaneously – enabling you to respond to changes in the market quickly and effectively.

The best organizations have developed innovative strategies and roadmaps for growth, using all the information they can – to win in business, you have to be prepared and know your opponents well. Those ahead of their peers know their weak spots, and have plans in place to negate them.

And don’t think of benchmarking as a one-time-only deal.

Those leaders in business are ones that continually review the market to be innovative and stay ahead of competitors, evolving and developing their strategies as a result.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to be a business leader, not part of the pack.

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